The 2021 senior class will spend their final days in the hallways of Aberdeen High School next week as Aberdeen’s seniors switch to remote learning after May 27 so that everyone is able to attend graduation ceremonies. With the current quarantine rules, administrators are concerned that a single exposure to COVID-19 in a classroom could send dozens of kids home at a crucial time.
Administrators discussed the change at the school board meeting Tuesday. District Superintendent Alicia Henderson said they are hearing from parents of the seniors who don’t want their kids to miss graduation.
“When there’s a positive case we have to follow the protocols for how we identify who may have been exposed,” Henderson explained to the school board this week, saying the school must notify anyone who may have come within 6 feet of a positive case.
“One student with a positive case could quarantine up to 20 kids,” Henderson said. At the same time, they’ve been told it’s OK to have the students’ desks 3 feet apart in classrooms, she said. “So if there’s a positive, the kids who are all sitting around (them) are going to be quarantined.”
The district also plans to work with any seniors still taking their AP tests after May 27 because those cannot be taken from home.
In-person graduation ceremonies are still in the planning stages, but Henderson said they are coming together nicely. They plan to use Stewart Field at 50% capacity. Seniors will be responsibly distanced on the field and will get up to six tickets per family for the event. Anyone not using all six can donate those back into a pool for others who request more tickets.
The change will not affect any other grade levels. Freshman through juniors will continue under their current schedules unless other circumstances prompt a change.